Students Staff

11 January 2016

Colchester fitness classes expand.

Filed under: Campus news, Sport, Student experience, What's on — Tags: , , — Heather Leathley @ 11:30 am

Kickstart your 2016 fitness plans with a week long guest pass to the Colchester Evolve Gym which includes access to 10 new fitness classes.

Introducing early bird classes every weekday morning at 7.05 am, the line-up of more than 30 sessions each week now includes Cycle Fit and Stretch and Mobility. Sign up here for the guest pass and book your place on a class through the Sports Centre reception on 3250.

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6 December 2013

Tributes to Nelson Mandela

Filed under: Latest news — Tags: , , , , — Communications Office @ 1:40 pm
Nelson Mandela and Graça Machel at our Colchester Campus

Nelson Mandela and Graça Machel at our Colchester Campus

Many staff and alumni will vividly remember the day that former South African President Nelson Mandela, who died yesterday, visited our Colchester Campus.

Mr Mandela visited the University in July 1997 to accompany Graça Machel, who subsequently became his wife, and who was awarded an Honorary Degree in recognition of her work with the UN on children’s rights.

The Chair of the University of Essex’s Human Rights Centre Professor Sir Nigel Rodley met Mr Mandela during his visit and has paid tribute to him on our news pages. Sir Nigel described Mr Mandela as “the moral giant who could bring true reconciliation to a country that had been so cruelly and arbitrarily divided.”

Expert on South Africa in the twentieth century, Dr Jeremy Krikler from our Department of History has also commented on Mr Mandela’s legacy in our online tribute.

You can also share your memories by commenting below.

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4 October 2013

Are you using the correct purchase order procedures?

Filed under: Latest news — Tags: , — Communications, CER @ 3:06 pm

Make sure you know the correct purchase order procedures

The financial integrity of our University is everyone’s responsibility and this is never more important than when raising purchase orders.
It is essential that all staff with purchasing responsibilities are aware of the importance of following the correct procedures when making purchases on behalf of the University.

It is vital that purchase orders are used to protect the University concerning the supply of all commodities and to give clear instructions to suppliers.
The use of purchase orders also ensures the University is able to meet its responsibility to provide a clear audit trail for all expenditure.

When making purchases please follow these instructions as a matter of priority:

  • Formal University purchase orders must be raised for every order placed – with the exception only of instances where an instant transaction is made using a purchasing card at the point of ordering, for items such as stationery and authorised commodities
  • Staff wishing to place orders for commodities, are required to ensure that the relevant suppliers are on Agresso prior to commencing a purchasing process.
  • A formal purchase order must be raised on Agresso and should only be provided to suppliers on formal documentation, either in hard copy, or as an e-mail attachment.

For queries or refresher training please contact the Agresso systems team in Finance by email to



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Welcome Week: the action in pictures


A warm Welcome to all our new students

From Zorb balls to Spiderman via a handful of foam fingers, this year’s Welcome Week was a triumph of colourful fun across all three campuses.
In Colchester, students got their first taste of the Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall at the official Welcome Talks, packing out the lecture theatre and learning some important tips to surviving their first week. The squares were full of stalls including a street market while the Arts office entertained with everything from Mexican Morris dancing, to a giant campus map.
In Southend student teams took part in the Befriend Southend Challenge which took them around the town hunting for clues including spotting a familiar-looking Spiderman. Their challenge was rounded off at the Freshers’ Fair, which offered chicken and pizza to the hungry masses while they shopped around finding out about all the myriad clubs and societies on offer.
Our Loughton students have been getting stuck into their studies from the off. Having arrived a little earlier, they have been getting involved in their induction programmes and attending departmental talks.
A big shout also goes out to all our volunteers, helpers, student mentors, ambassadors, frontrunners and everyone who gave their time and energy to help make this one of the most vibrant and well attended Welcome Weeks ever.
See the evidence for yourself in our Welcome Week photos.

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24 September 2013

Tate loans work for new show at Art Exchange

Filed under: Latest news, What's on — Tags: , , , , , — Communications Office @ 9:59 am
Image from Francis Alÿs: Seven Walks

Francis Alÿs: Seven Walks opens on September 30 at Art Exchange

The new show at Art Exchange, the University’s gallery at our Colchester Campus, offers a unique perspective on London.

Francis Alÿs: Seven Walks was developed by the artist over several years as he walked the streets of London, evolving an ambitious project that delves into the everyday rituals and habits of the metropolis. It was originally commissioned by Artangel in 2004-5 and is on loan from Tate.

Observing and intervening in the huge open-air studio, Alÿs maps the city through his walks. These are enacted in different parts of the city – Hyde Park, the City of London, the National Portrait Gallery and the streets near to Regents Park. The protagonists for the walks range from a solitary urban fox to a contingent of Coldstream Guards.

Francis Alÿs’s ideas can often be reduced to a set of simple instructions – but the work can be as monumental as moving a sand dune (a project he undertook with a thousand people in Lima), or as ephemeral as pushing a block of ice around Mexico City until it melts. With Seven Walks, we can track a fox on surveillance cameras as it moves around the National Portrait Gallery, hear the sound of railings being drummed, watch a regiment of Coldstream Guards find each other in the City’s square mile, or go for walk for as long as it takes for a pebble to enter your shoe.

A series of talks, tours and film showings have been organised to coincide with the exhibition.

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30 May 2013

Obituary for Marion Lilley

Filed under: People pages — Tags: , — Communications Office @ 2:39 pm

Marion Lilley, who helped establish the University’s first playgroup, died at the age of 90 on Sunday 28 April.

Marion was the wife of John Lilley, the University’s first Maintenance Officer.  As a member of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force during the war, Marion became one of the RAF’s very first radar operators in 1940, and was stationed in the Orkneys, helping in the defence of Scapa Flow against German bombing attacks.  After marrying John in 1950, she travelled widely around the world, and lived in several overseas stations while he was serving in the Royal Engineers; when he retired, they came to Colchester in 1966 for him to take up his University appointment.

As a qualified Nursery Nurse before the War, Marion had set up and run nursery or playgroup facilities at several of John’s Army stations, and, early in her time in Colchester, she was approached for advice and assistance in setting up a group to care for the young children of staff and students at Wivenhoe Park.  In late 1966, ‘The University Playgroup’ opened its doors – on the strict understanding that it had to be completely independent and entirely self-funded.  It began life in a rather dark and dismal vacant room on the ground floor of the Physics Building, close to the Squash Courts. The group’s numbers very quickly outgrew that room, and its success was recognised by a move into the ‘Social Area’ of the Sports Pavilion on the playing fields.

Ever-increasing numbers however, soon necessitated ever larger premises, and, when the Site hut (erected in 1964 for the site-based staff of the architects and engineers developing the University’s original facilities) fell vacant in the early 1970s, the Playgroup was able to move into that, and continue its expansion.  Almost 50 years later, from that small beginning, has developed today’s very successful University of Essex Day Nursery.

In addition to her Nursery Nurse training and qualifications, Marion was also qualified in the Montessori method of teaching, and the children who came under her care (and that of the dedicated staff who assisted her) benefited greatly and developed quickly in the happy and relaxed atmosphere. After managing the group for more than ten years, and with almost one hundred children enrolled, Marion handed over to Joan Brighton and spent her remaining years devoting her time and energy to her home and family.

She leaves her husband John, their three sons and their families to mourn her passing. She will be greatly missed and was respected and loved by the hundreds of children who came under her care, by their parents, by her own family and by her many, many friends. She had a special place in their hearts.

Obituary submitted by John A. Lilley

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28 May 2013

Student Centre: What’s my name? Give us your ideas.

Student CentreAs building works get under way for the new Student Centre at the Colchester Campus, we are looking for ideas for the building name and for some of the services that will be inside it.

Do you have an idea for the building’s name and for what the student services area on the first floor should be called?

Students and staff are invited to submit their name ideas through a short online form to:

You can submit your idea anonymously or leave your details.

For more information about the building visit the Student Centre and Student Services Centre webpages. The building name will be announced later this summer.

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24 May 2013

Brainwaves, time travel and renewable energy at Family Learning Festival in firstsite

Filed under: Latest news, What's on — Tags: , , — Communications Office @ 12:18 pm
Entrance to firstsite in Colchester

firstsite in Colchester will host the Family Learning Festival

A special Family Learning Festival on Saturday 8 June is being organised by the University of Essex at firstsite in Colchester.

Visitors will be able to take part in a whole range of activities including speaking to leading lecturers, going back in history with the student-led time travelling team, joining in Dragons’ Den style sessions, having fun with the sciences and getting creative with the arts.

The free Festival is part of the Children’s University Junior Lecture Series and aimed at igniting the imaginations of seven to 14-year-olds, but younger or older brothers and sisters are also welcome to join in.

Academics and students from the University will be offering lectures, activities and workshops including a market place showcasing subjects offered at Essex.

Representatives from the Children’s University will be on hand to stamp any learning passports throughout the day.

The Festival is open from 11am to 4pm and there is no need to book.

There will be lecture sessions taking place all day alongside the market place with Dr Chris Saker from the Department of Mathematical Sciences, -Dr Nicolas Geeraert from the Department of Psychology plus the firstsite Resident Artist.

The marketplace will include:

  • Eye tracking and brainwaves with Dr Tom Foulsham, Dr Mary-Jane Budd and Dr Nick Cooper from the Department of Psychology.
  • Renewable energy with Dr John Woods from the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering.
  • Speech and Language Therapy with Gemma Biles from the School of Health and Human Sciences.
  • Dragons Den style activities with Carolina Bailey from Essex Business School.
  • The Fascination of Plants with Dr Nicola Slee from the School of Biological Sciences.
  • Bio-imaging with Dr Philippe Laissue.

Student Ambassadors and V-team volunteers will be running educational stalls including the Time Travellers from the Department of History plus interactive activities covering law, the philosophy of art, languages, sociology and drama plus storytelling and puppetry.

Representatives from the University will also be available to answer any questions visitors may have about going to university and higher education from courses to finance and admissions.

For further information call 01206 872720.

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20 March 2013

Jim Ede Collection at firstsite

Filed under: What's on — Tags: , , — Communications Office @ 2:27 pm

Jim Ede Collection at The University Space at firstsiteMlle Bourgoint by Christopher Wood

Monday 18 March to Sunday 9 June 2013

The University of Essex and firstsite will present an exhibition of works from the University’s Jim Ede Collection, including paintings by Alfred Wallis, Christopher Wood, Ben Nicholson, Richard Pousette-Dart and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska.

In 1964, the newly-established University received a donation of a number of artworks from influential art collector and former Tate curator Jim Ede. Exhibited in the University Space at firstsite, the Jim Ede Collection exhibition showcases a selection of artworks that illustrate the breadth of his collection and his deliberate focus on British-based art and artists.

Jim Ede had been collecting such artists for some time, creating an extraordinary collection that was to become Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge. He described it as a “living place” where art could be enjoyed in a domestic setting unhampered by the austerity of the gallery or museum. As new universities were built in the 1960s, full of post-war vision and idealism, Ede declared that there “should be a Kettle’s Yard in every university”. These pictures in the University of Essex’s collection would have been part of Kettle’s Yard, but Jim Ede hoped that by giving out a few works, we would be inspired to make a collection of our own.

His donation played a formative role of instilling a passion for art that would further blossom in the emergence of the University’s Collection of Latin American Art (ESCALA) and Art Exchange, the University’s gallery that brings new art onto campus through an ever changing programme of exhibitions, thereby making art and culture part of the student experience.

Accompanying the Jim Ede Collection exhibition are series of talks expanding on themes raised, including a talk by Kettle’s Yard Director Andrew Nairne on the genesis of the Jim Ede collection and why the donation was made to Essex.

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12 March 2013

Robots, zombies and welly walks

Filed under: Research impact, What's on — Tags: , , , , — Communications Office @ 4:21 pm

Robots, zombies and well walksTo mark National Science and Engineering Week (15-24 March), the University of Essex is opening up its laboratories to showcase inventions and discoveries that tackle some of the key global challenges of today.

Staff, students, local school pupils and members of the community are all welcome. Highlights include a 30-minute tour of the Coral Reef Research Unit and Bioimaging Lab, two one-hour tours exploring the natural treasures of Wivenhoe Park and the Colne Estuary, and a chance to take part in real research into crowd behaviour by impersonating a zombie.

[Robots, zombies and welly walks: read more]

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